Car Battery Maintenance Tips for Your Honda
Your Honda vehicle depends on its battery in order to function correctly – even at all! This is the case for vehicles of all brands, makes, and models. The winter weather, especially here in Canada’s Capital, can be treacherous and tricky at the same time, and it’s no picnic for your car battery either. Even the best-designed and most efficient vehicle battery needs some TLC every so often, especially before that dreaded cold weather sets in. That’s something we can help with at Ottawa Honda with our wide array of service options.
On that note, what are some ways to maintain your Honda’s battery yourself before and during winter’s bitter chill? Today, let’s explore in more detail with these critical tips you shouldn’t skip.
Get Your Battery Tested on a Regular Basis
Bringing your Honda in to be inspected by a service technician brings about many benefits, especially if you want to ensure your vehicle is ready for the winter. Try to stick to a local, full-service dealership to ensure every potential need can be addressed. The best time to get your battery inspected and tested is actually now, the middle of fall before it gets too cold. That way, you’ll have a clear understanding of whether your vehicle will have a hard time operating this winter.
Our team at Ottawa Honda, for instance, will take a good look at your voltage and integrated charging system. We’ll also determine the approximate amount of battery degradation and remaining capacity, as this is a natural process that cannot be completely avoided. With these insights, we’ll be able to provide an informed recommendation on whether your Honda’s battery should be replaced before winter arrives. On that note, we’ll gladly inspect your vehicle for signs of corrosion, loose parts and/or components, dirt buildup, and otherwise.
Infrequent Use of Your Vehicle and Battery
Nobody really likes having to take to the road in the middle of a freezing cold winter – we don’t blame you! That said, if you bulk up your errands and therefore only drive a day or two a week, bear in mind that this is causing excessive wear on your battery. Letting it sit idle for too long accelerates degradation and even introduces the risk of it freezing if the temperatures are low enough. And, the colder it gets outside, the more power your Honda will want from the battery, adding strain to the latter.
Your best bet is to get into the habit of driving for even 10 to 20 minutes a day. Whether picking up groceries or commuting to and from the office, these are beneficial for your battery’s health, especially in colder weather, as it will be active more frequently. This may even mean fewer slower starts in the morning, and you’ll also be able to keep a closer eye on vehicle performance by using it daily.
Battery Insulation While Parked
As we touched on already, batteries can freeze, and this can seriously impact performance and reliability in the long run if not addressed. Therefore, try to find ways to keep yours sufficiently insulated and out of winter’s cold grip. Keeping the gas tank topped up regularly, parking inside a garage or along a retaining wall that blocks the wind, and using thermal blankets are just some of the ways this can be done. Wind, in particular, has a nasty bite to it in the winter, effectively blasting whatever it hits with frigid air. Parking in a manner that minimizes the risk of your battery freezing is therefore important.
Unplug Accessories and Minimize Charging Strain
Battery banks for smartphones. External GPS systems. Phone chargers. Portable fans. These are just some of the many devices that, depending on the outlets and ports available in your Honda, are typically left plugged in, sometimes indefinitely. The problem is, even if they’re intended to be energy efficient, they still take considerable gulps of energy when your battery is already working hard in the winter cold. Find ways to minimize charging strain – and subsequent accelerated degradation – by decluttering your vehicle’s ports and using only what is needed. Better still, wait at least 10 minutes or so after your Honda has started and warmed up before plugging anything in. After all, your battery is already pushing itself pretty hard given the conditions outside, so be careful not to overwork it! Not only that, but recent Hondas include a wide range of driver assistance features that aid in everything from parking to navigating more streamlined, so there may not be a tangible use for some of these devices as it is.
We’ve only scratched the surface on ways to maintain your Honda battery and keep the degradation process as slow as possible. For further insights or to request our battery testing services at Ottawa Honda, schedule your appointment with us today. Otherwise, feel free to contact the team with any questions or concerns. We’re happy to help in any way we can!